Mathemania | Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier


Daily in March and April 
11:15 am and 2:15 pm 

Children are natural mathematicians. They eagerly embrace math as they sort, count, measure, compare, match and problem solve in their everyday play. And that free-form fun translates into an early grasp of math concepts that builds lifelong math success! 

Throughout March and April, we're doing up math BIG—and small. Join us every day for different math activities calculated to inspire a love of math in every child. Here are some highlights:

Size, shape, direction and position are basic concepts of geometry. In this activity, kids use geometric thinking to solve a puzzle or form a cat, sailboat, square or other "picture" using the same seven shapes.  
Skill Sets: Geometry, spatial thinking 

Box Magic 
Spatial thinking is essential not only for school success, particularly in the STEM areas, but also for everyday life—assembling a model airplane, navigating a new town, remembering where the car is parked. Kids can transform a 2D greeting card into a 3D, lidded box, and see math magic at work!
Skill Sets: 2D, 3D, diagonal, center, size, shape 

Make Your Own Play dough 
Recipes are ideal for introducing children to early math concepts, such as measurement, counting and sequence. Measure, measure, mix, mix—voila, you've just made play dough!  
Skill Sets: Counting, measuring, sequence 

Hammer Time 
Children can sort by color, create patterns and become familiar with basic shapes as they engage in a simple hammering activity. They’ll build spatial awareness and muscles at the same time! 
Skill Sets: Sets, attributes, shapes, patterns 

Flying Shapes 
Early math concepts lay the groundwork for scientific inquiry. Children can estimate, test, measure and compare which shapes fly the farthest using our powerful wind machine.
Skill Sets: Shape, size, measurement, farther, closer, comparison, estimation 

Cents-able Crowns 
Numbers gain meaning when they're represented by real objects. Kids can measure the circumference of their heads, and then see how many quarters it takes to make it all the way around!
Skill Sets: Number sense, measurement, comparing, adding 

Make a Pattern 
Patterns are sequences with an underlying rule. Children can use stamps to make a pattern. See if you or a sibling can crack the code to figure out what comes next. Then switch places!
Skill Sets: Making patterns, identifying and creating rules 

Silly Pets in a Pen 
Children incorporate geometric, sequencing, and counting principles to connect all four sides of a square to create a pen for a pretend pet.
Skill Sets: Shapes, counting, comparing, sets  

Fraction Action Pizzeria 
An early understanding of fractions paves the way for more complex math functions. The best way to communicate fraction sense to young children is visually, using concrete, familiar objects. Enter the pizza! Kids will learn the basics of fractions with the aid of our giant pizza pie.
Skill Sets: Fractions, matching, whole, part 

Family Math Day 
Thursday, March 31, 1-7 pm

Join us for an afternoon of fun, hands-on math activities designed for the whole family! Visitors will have the opportunity to play some tantalizingly tricky math games, centered on ancient mathematical games from around the world. This all-ages program is free with museum admission 

Family Math Day is made possible by MIND Research Institue's MathMINDS Initiative.

Funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation


Enhancing Math Talk in Classrooms and Homes

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Exploring the Math in Play

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Early Math Guide for Parents of Preschoolers

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Math at Play Videos

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